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Those of us in France right now: How are you dealing with the… 
21st-Nov-2007 12:14 am
mychimaera
Those of us in France right now: How are you dealing with the strikes?

I would be fine with just a transportation strike. That's easy to deal with. But the other thing that's crippling me personally is the student strikes. I'm a foreign student at University of Paris 8, Saint-Denis, and the students there have been on strike since Monday last week. While I understand the reason for these student strikes (and would possibly be in support of them if I was born French), I'm feeling a bit cheated because I haven't had any classes for a week and a half now and it's in those classes that I was learning the most French. Most likely I'll return home at the end of this semester without any credits as well. So frustrating

So let's share some stories, opinions, and straight out rants if you feel like it. I'd be interested to hear other people's stories.
Comments 
20th-Nov-2007 11:57 pm (UTC)
sorry about that. the french university system is not a business and you are not a customer, so you do not get to file a complaint with the better business bureau. if you really want to learn french, though, you can go to all the activities happening around the strikes, it is a lot of fun, and you might learn how democracy works. getting tear-gased together is one of the best way to make friends.
21st-Nov-2007 12:10 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, I can't participate in those activities, as much as I'd like to...if only for the awesome story it would make. I've been forbidden to participate by my study abroad program and if I did, and had the unlucky chance of falling in the hands of French authorities, I could be deported.
21st-Nov-2007 01:37 am (UTC)
I was also forbidden to participate in "les manifestations" for my study abroad program. I thought that was really odd, and fortunately I didn't run into any. I would be SO upset if I were you. I really feel your pain, so hopefully it can get resolved and you can get credit. It's not your fault that French students decided to strike.
21st-Nov-2007 02:54 pm (UTC)
They would never arrest an american. That would be way too much bad PR. And even if you were, are you giving up on the opportunity of being a hero because you are afraid to lose some school credits? What happen to the spirit of youth?
22nd-Nov-2007 03:51 pm (UTC)
easy for you to say when you will not be paying consequences. Spirit of youth? Carpe Diem? I would say they're more like irrational thinking.
21st-Nov-2007 08:40 am (UTC)
Now you know why french universities don't have good reputation abroad...
21st-Nov-2007 08:54 am (UTC)
I understand how it could be frustated for you.
I think I had a lot of luck when I was in university because during 7 years I had no strikes so I can study peacefully.
But I am angry against the students because in university, people ask for the return of classes and some of them decided to ignore the majority and they blocked university!

For me now it's the transportation's strike which disturbe me... I have to travel east to west of Paris... It takes me 6 hours per day! It's awful...

Good luck at university :)
21st-Nov-2007 09:35 am (UTC)
You have my sympathies - it must be so frustrating to be losing your study time and not be able to do anything about it. Hope it's sorted soon.

Meantime...is it possible to get together with some like-minded students for self-help classes? Is it possible to contact your tutors to get some 'homework'?

21st-Nov-2007 02:56 pm (UTC)
Again, french universities are not a business. Tutors are fellow students and in time of turmoil they are doing their duties as citizen, defending their rights.
21st-Nov-2007 10:49 am (UTC)
that's the thing about being a guest in another country. you have to take it for what it is. i'm trying to do the same here in the usa. chalk it up as part of the experience. someday it will be just another story to tell.
21st-Nov-2007 03:06 pm (UTC)
This thread is amazing to me. I can't figure how you would consider those events an inconvenience. I went through number of those periods and they were some of the best times of my life. For a few weeks you do not have to be one of the cogs of the machine anymore, you can watch events unfold out of your own free wills and the free will of your fellow students. This is your one chance in life to take a break from the rat race. Seize it. You do not have to confront the Police, as fun as that could be. Go hang around the occupied amphitheaters. Read the fliers and try to feel the amazing energy that motivates those strikes. Sit on an Assemblee Generale and try to figure out what the debates are about. Find a pretty anarchist girl to fall in love with, or a fun student leader to get drunk with. Take pictures of the beautiful people marching on the street.

Jouissez sans entraves!
26th-Nov-2007 05:47 am (UTC)
Beautiful, laurent!

I was studying abroad during the CPE events and my university suggested that we steer clear of protests. We certainly weren't forbidden to do anything... Two of my fellow students got pregnant or got someone pregnant while they were aboad with me, and several of them smoked pot. The university really doesn't give a shit what you do as long as it doesn't affect them negatively. The year before, a student from my university got his picture on the front page of L'Auvernat while taking part in a manifestation. I really wish I was in France right now... I'm jealous! I can only hope that I can experience it again when I'm in France next year :)
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